She told us to visit Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Sq, Green Park and Big Ben. All these places were close to her office and walking distance. We paid for the coffee and were on our way to Trafalgar Sq, walked ahead a little bit and reached the Buckingham palace & Green Park. Through our walk there was a regular photo session going on and it was a pleasant experience walking the streets of london.Since it was a day before the weekend, people were all out on the streets, getting into the weekend groove. There were families and children with their dogs playing in the park, couples coochy cooing and sipping on chilled beer (its legal to drink on streets in London), a old gentleman feeding squirrels, a lady feeding the ducks, tourists clicking pictures and office goers crowded outside English pubs drinking beer and wine. It was party mood all around.We walked back to Sugandha's office and called her, she told us to come to a pub were she and Daniel (her English boyfriend) had already started partying. We joined them, ordered our beers and it was 1, 2 and 3 beers for me, the last glass being bottoms up. The pub (I forget the name) was totally crowded with people partying after office hours.
The Giant’s Causeway is on the northern coast of Northern Ireland. The car trip was beautiful with vast landscapes and beautiful views. I think that instant trips are the best because you do not expect anything from the trip and are awed by all the beauty when it hits you.There are various formations of rocks over there which were formed due to volcanic activity millions of years ago. These rock formations make it a beautiful sunrise/sunset point and it is great to spend an evening here just lying in the sun or taking a walk around. You could walk around with your romantic partner and enjoy the shapes or enjoy the mythology of the place with your children. Children always love mythological stories and adding the stories add a certain fairytale like element to the travel place.There is a myth behind the rock formations of Giant’s Causeway which states that the structures are actually the remains of a causeway built by the Irish giant Fionn . He was challenged to fight the Scottish giant, Benandonner so he built the causeway so that the two giants could meet. As with every legend, there is confusion in the legend and one states that Fionn won, the other version shows Benandonner as the winner. Fionn’s wife tucks him in a cradle disguised as a baby and Benandonner, though a lot bigger thinks that Fionn is bigger looking at the size of the baby. This made the Irish giant win the challenge. This story intrigued me and the idea of there existing giants where I stood long before fascinated me. There is also evidence for the myth as there are similar structures beyond the sea on the Scottland side.Above all, I was intrigued by the beauty of the formations the most. Some of them were stacked up like a chimney one above the other and there were some which reached great heights. The varying heights of the rock formations gave it a magic mystery like feeling. Most of them were hexagonal shaped and were stacked one above the other but there were others which were straight like pillars reaching up to the sky. There were also a few rocks with holes inside and the closeness of the ocean caused them to fill up with water.We took a walk around the causeway and viewed the angry waves hitting the rocks. It gave the feeling of a beach with these basalt rock formations forming the shore. The feeling was very grand and fiction like. I realized that there can be places which make you feel like you are the part of a fictional movie in a set somewhere. The place had a magical and mystical aura to it. There is however not much to do at the Causeway. If you are a nature lover, you can spend about 2 hours taking a walk around and enjoying photography. I was set to leave in about 45 minutes. I yet remember the feeling of walking on those structures of basalt that are piled over each other like columns or pillars.
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is one of the most popular and easily accessible travel destinations in Scotland. We pre-decided the driving route, crossed the English-Scottish borders in style; received a musical welcome from a Scottish piper as we officially entered Scotland but it was miles to go before we reached our destination.
During our walk we saw a great deal of modern blocks of various architectural quality, side by side with houseboats, boardwalk environment and small, green spots with grass and trees. Everywhere there were trendy cafés where the young and hip ad-agency people, artists and “creative types” were sitting with their iPads, checking e-mails, or a copy of “The Observer” as they sipped their organic juices and coffees. One of the things that really fascinates me about London is the fact that there is so much history. Originally founded by the Romans about 2000 years ago, the “current London” is literally built upon the ruins of millennia and ever so often remains from the past, even of a significant, historic value, are found and being excavated. In medieval times London developed into one of the most important cities in Europe and the list of brutal, reckless kings that have ruled England from here is long! In the older areas of the city you find many buildings dating back 500 years or more. As already mentioned, several pubs are centuries old, and many of them make quite an effort to inform you just HOW old they actually are, and which prominent, historic figures that have come and gone over the years. It IS actually exciting! Imagine to sit by the same table as William Shakespeare, drinking a pint of lager. There are quite a few arguments about which pub that can rightfully claim the title as “London’s oldest pub”. No one knows for sure. But there are a handful of pubs in the central part of the city that have had their license at least since the 1660´s. No matter which one is the oldest, I find that rather impressive. I do not think that there will be many of the present day “shopping street pubs” around 350 years from now. But in the center of London they live and work “in the middle of history” every day!
Day three came soon; a little drippy and drowsy. The clouds populated the sky so intensely that we couldn’t muster up the courage to explore around the loch. It was best to bring out the board and card games while still stealing a glimpse of the Loch Lomond. After repeated failures to take a walk outside, we finally settled down with a cup of coffee on Uno. We enjoyed the drizzle from within the closed doors, without cold and without wet. Only the sound splattered on the wooden deck and the drops trickled down the glass windows. The old hills exhibited new colours; in some places new waterfalls sprung out and the clouds started to dissolve as it poured.
Aros is a beautiful park near Tobermory. It offers many walking trails ranging from easy to moderate. When we parked our car at the Aros car park, it was a crisp winter day and the temperature hovered around Zero degree Celsius. It was indeed chilly but we deluded ourselves by looking at the Sun(which seemed only to be a source of light minus the heat) and started our 1.5 mile walk to the waterfall. It is a moderate walk, a little boggy at places and there's a view point at the end of the trail, with fantastic views of the waterfall.
This is a very small park, will be close to where I will stay. I look forward to exploring it further! P.S. (May 2016) Am still waiting for spring to fully arrive, but one of those rare sunny days I got out and explored the park a bit. Its quite picturesque, with fountains and landscaping.
White Cliffs of Dover
We love to go hiking around, and up and down, these beautiful cliffs along our coast. If there is one thing I would miss the most if I left England, the White Cliffs would be it. As gorgeous as these chalk formations are, they are also an important symbol of England. For thousands of years they have greeted invaders and visitors alike as they came over from continental Europe. What the Statue of Liberty was to immigrants arriving in America, the White Cliffs of Dover are to those arriving in England. And wow, what a welcome. These cliffs owe their striking white color to the white chalk they are mostly composed of. They are 350 feet at their highest and provide the most incredible views. On clear days you can easily see France across the English Channel, an amazing view for a Sunday stroll.
I have been to Richmond park only once, but people who stay close to it swear by it. Its a huge park in south west London. We went there once in summer, started from one end, walked all across looking for a cycle to rent and ended up spending the whole day just walking:) without ever reaching the cycles! Its a more open park than the rest within the city, has huge wide roads, deer running around and space for a lot more activity than the others. Someday I will make a second visit but till then just memories of its expanse stay with me!
A great view of the beautiful city of London is Primrose Hill. Buy some food from the markets and come up here to enjoy the afternoon, eat and drink a bottle of wine! It's not far from the London Zoo so if you are heading that way then make sure you stop over!There are always free things to do in a city you just have to do a little research and be prepared to get lost. As my mother used to say "The best things in life are free" and I have to say I agree with her.Much love,Anita HendriekaThis blog was originally published on 'anitahendrieka'.
By far my favorite part about the overall Hogmanay festival is the Torchlight. Led by Vikings with torches twice the size of what I carried and accompanied by bagpipes and other music through old Edinburgh, ending on the top of Calton Hill, it’s just unlike anything else I’ve ever done anywhere in the world. I laughingly joked my first time that I couldn’t believe they were letting me play with fire at all….let alone also letting thousands of other people do so at the same time! Grand grand fun and so many photo-worthy moments too.
It’s a good idea to drive to these nearby falls, nestled in the Welsh thickets. Combining this with your day trip to the Snowdonia national park would be a day well spent with nature.INSIDER TIPSRent cheap cars at http://www.rentalcars.com/ for below 15GBP, over 2 days.Mind you, the network coverage can be quite poor. So it is best you have the location tracked, beforehand.SCOTLANDItineraryEDINBURGH GLENCOE ISLES OF SKYEAfter spending a good two days exploring the best of scenic English landscape in Wales and driving all the way to Scotland, it would be a good idea to celebrate the slow pace of life in the historically rich old city of Edinburgh. It is good to keep changing the type of travel experience, in order to have a taste of everything.PLACES TO SEE IN EDINBURGH
The pergola was built in 1906 and was one of Lord Leverhulmes ideas. He wanted to build a legacy, so decided that the pergola was a great idea. Over the years there were many extensions of this fantastic structure but sadly after his death the Pergola was forgotten. This place is now overgrown by wild flowers and vines and looks absolutely amazing. It has such a eerie feeling to it and I wouldn't of thought this secret place would still exist in London.Listen to the protests in the speakers corner in Hyde Park | Tube station: Marble Arch
In my obsessive perusings I discovered that Peter first appeared in Barrie's little-known adult novel, The Little White Bird. His mythology began, not in Neverland, but in a place called Kensington Gardens. Barrie transformed this familiar London location into a fairy realm. Kensington Gardens has loomed large in my imagination ever since, and when I went to London on a recent trip with my family I urged them to stop by.
We saw the Italian Gardens, a soothing water feature full of life and beauty. Supposedly it was created as a present from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria. Those two had one of the sweetest romances in the history of British royalty. We'll see Victoria's own tribute to her sweetheart in a minute.
The York Museum Garden is a botanic garden in the centre of York, beside the River Ouse. There are several historic buildings in the garden including the remains of the west corner of the Roman fort of Eboracum (Multangular Tower & parts of Roman walls). Most of the other buildings dating from the Middle Ages are associated with St Mary’s Abbey. Housing some of the finest collections of archaeological and geological finds in Europe, the Yorkshire Museum is also situated in the garden area.